If you are taking a bus, the train or a cab to work in the morning, it is always useful to search for the following hash tags on Twitter first: #smrtruinslives, #comfortruinslives and #sbsruinslives
They refer to, respectively, SMRT, the corporation that runs the national train system, ComfortDelgro, the biggest taxi company here with a fleet of 15,000 cabs, and SBS Transit, one of the largest bus companies here and also owned by ComfortDelgro.
If there is yet another train delay, or a bus has broken down on the expressway, or there simply aren't enough cabs on the road, you are more than likely to hear about it on Twitter. Then you'll know which one to avoid.
The vast majority of Singaporeans rely on the public transport system, given that cars are simply too expensive. This is largely due to the fact that you need a Certificate of Entitlement, better known as a COE in our acronym-crazy country, to own a car. Anyone wanting to buy a car has to bid for one through the Land Transport Authority via monthly bidding exercises, with different grades of COEs for different types of vehicles. The cost of a COE for a 1,000cc car in the latest exercise - $54,887. Combined with petrol, road tax, parking and more, you end up paying installments of about $1,000 every month for the average car.
If there is such a thing as a hot-button issue in Singapore, then the transport system certainly qualifies. A lot of it has to do with our burgeoning population. The numbers speak for themselves - in just 10 years, the number of people on the island has shot up by about a million to just over five million, much of it fueled by immigration. All of this translates to overcrowded buses and trains, a paucity of cabs during rush hour and lots of angry tweets. It seems to have taken the powers-that-be a while to realise this though, perhaps best reflected by SMRT CEO Saw Phaik Hwa's infamous comment last year: "People can board the train - it is whether they choose to."
The transport system has certainly been in the news a lot this year. The 36km long Circle Line, our fourth MRT line, opened. The historic Tanjong Pagar train station, a hub for railway transport to Malaysia since 1923, also closed in June, triggering a wave of nostalgia and a crowd of hundreds on the night the last train pulled into the station.
Foreigners living here, especially those from the West, often praise the efficiency of Singapore's transport system. But I take the train and the bus every day, and I have seen the rush hour crowds for myself. The transport system has already shown signs of strain, and while it is not quite at breaking point, I do find myself wondering: how much more can it take?
Follow me on Twitter @incoherentboy